Thursday 18 August 2011

Tough Toffie

(Menu. You have to get your hands on one.)

In slang Afrikaans 'Ek voel 'n toffie' is a polite way of saying 'I couldn't give a fuck'.
Well, I think Afrikaans needs to be revisited. Because when it comes to toffees, I really could give a fuck. Be they the imported Thornton variety or the sweet Wilson kind (any flavour, but not the purple punch one), or in relation to the or the accessibly subversive Toffie Food Festival. The first ( because I sincerely hope there will be more than one) Toffie food Festival takes place on the weekend of 3/4 September in Cape Town's City Hall. And we have Peet Pienaar and Hannerie Visser of The President to thank for this welcome alternative to the stuffy or commercial food shows we have had to put up with. These two (surprisingly shy) design and marketing mavericks and their cohorts could change the way you think about just about anything. And their latest project, Toffie Food Festival, will certainly change the way you think about food. A two day food/fantasy/flavour melting pot where designer pinatas, breakfasts and lunches on site and dinners in the homes of local foodistas, lectures by the likes of Kobus van der Merwe, (Culinary Conjurer of Paternoster) and Julie Powell (Julia Child wannabe of New York
) and pop up shops are sure to feel hungry souls and stomachs.
As a taste ( I know, enough with the food analogies...) of things to come, I popped into Church on Spin Street last night to drink boozy orange juice out of real real oranges (just like nature intended - but better) and attend the launch of Menu - a magazine/book (but definitely a keeper) of the 167 best dishes to eat in Cape Town. I'm slightly annoyed by it, because as a local it divulges all our secrets like where to buy the best koeksisters, where to find a great boerewors role, how to make samoosas, where to find the best Portuguese Rump (Dias Tavern) and slaptjips (a Greek place which I disagree with because surely the best slaptjips are the ones sold with lots of vinegar from any fish & chips shop? But then again I told you they would change the way you think about food.) I love this book, the illustrations are edgy, and unlike any other food photography you may have seen. Think a heart-shaped soetkoekie crushed into the pavement, or a Malay koesister lying near a drain,a fried egg nestling in brown twigs and chocolate ice-cream plopped on wood.
I'm hooked. Enough of pretty-pretty, I want edgy-edgy. And Toffie is just that. And I like toffie

Tuesday 16 August 2011

I love, love LOVE this room. And its creator is also ok.

(The M Bar)

I know that my friend Etienne Hanekom is going to be really famous one day. I've also told him that I won't be saying too many other nice things about him and his talents to his face, or else he'll become big-headed and a real doos. Perhaps I also fear that he won't walk into our house and make brilliant decor suggestions anymore. Or that he won't want to bring his power drill and rehang our art for us. Or that he won't be fearless with paint on our behalf. But I have to say this at least once. He is the most profoundly talented creative genius I know. And his latest project at Majeka House in Stellenbosch is pure magic. Commissioned to create the new restaurant Makaron, a cigar lounge, the M Bar, the foyer and a couple of bedrooms, the owners gave him a free hand (and by the looks of it a rather generous budget) and the results are magnificent. I love the serene and elegant restaurant where the Louis Ghost chairs play nicely with the revamped antique ones, and I cannot yet get over the amazing sumptuousness of the I'm-So-Hot-And-Fabulous-In-This-Room-I-Want-to-Wear-the-Louboutins-I -Don't-Yet-Own-To-Drinks M Bar.
I want to move in, I want to be able to play on the grand piano. I want to be thin and wear skimpy cocktail frocks. I want to drink French Champagne and make sparkling conversation throughout the day and consume single malt whiskey all night long until my voice is husky. I want to hold court on the black leather Chesterfield. I want to be scandalous. And daring. Know secrets. I want to be the M Bar.

Majeka House
26 - 32 Houtkapper Street
Western Cape
Tel: 021 8801549